“A judge ruled Thursday that Casey Anthony doesn’t have to answer questions in a civil defamation suit brought by Zenaida Gonzalez because her criminal appeal is still pending.
Attorneys for Anthony argued she should be able to assert her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, since she’s appealing her convictions for lying to law enforcement.
Gonzalez’s lawyers are free to revisit the issue after Anthony’s appeal concludes.
Anthony was acquitted in July of all major charges in the death of her daughter, Caylee, more than three years ago. She is challenging her conviction on four counts of lying to law enforcement.
Munyon also issued an order on Thursday in a separate suit facing Anthony, brought by Texas EquuSearch, a nationally recognized group that helped search for Caylee.
EquuSearch is also seeking to force Anthony to answer questions, on similar grounds. Munyon on Thursday ordered a closed-door hearing to discuss EquuSearch’s motion.
In her order, Munyon writes that she needs “a more detailed explanation of the Defendant’s reasons for asserting her Fifth Amendment privilege” before ruling on the issue.
EquuSearch wants to be reimbursed for $110,000 the group spent on two multi-day searches for 2-year-old Caylee Marie Anthony conducted in September and November 2008.
Gonzalez’s attorney Matt Morgan took to Twitter to respond to Thursday’s decision, asserting that Anthony will still ultimately be forced to answer questions in the case.
“We disagree with Judge Munyon’s ruling,” Morgan said. “However, in the end it changes nothing.”
Morgan added that he intends to file a motion for summary judgment in the case next week, “based on statements Casey [Anthony] made in jail to her mother about our client.”